I don't even know where to start with this book. I...am just still in shock with how fabulous it was. I love Libba Bray's other novels, but this one is just startlingly amazing. This may be my favorite read of 2012. The beginning few pages were a little rough, trying to get my hand into the 1920s slang, but once I got through the first chapter I never wanted to stop. It's a six hundred page book, but I just devoured it.
I loved that it was told from multiple perspectives. Sometimes it wasn't even people that we followed through this eerie tale. Each character and each story just fit together wonderfully. I really liked all the characters throughout this novel, even smarmy Sam Lloyd. Jericho was the cat's pajamas. He was such a sweet guy and I can totally see why Mabel was head over heels for him. Sam Lloyd was a liar and a cheat, but it seemed like deep down he wasn't too bad a guy. I do wish there was more from his perspective in the second half of the book. There isn't hardly anything from him after he starts working. Mabel was a bit naive but a good friend. Theta was a very interesting character with a hard life behind her and glory in her future (I hope). Her "brother" Henry was a great fella and I like how the two of them are together. Uncle Will is totally in his own world. There's a lot behind the scenes that he's aware of but he doesn't tell anyone else about. Memphis was a good kid just trying to get by and I loved getting to hear about his story while everything was going on.
Now on to the story. I didn't really know a ton about this novel going in. I knew it took place in the 1920s and that there was some supernatural aspect to it and that it was going to be a series. There is a super creepy element to it that I was not expecting. I feel like the character could have had creepier intentions, but the killer was still uber creepy. There were certain chapters you just can't end on if your reading this book before trying to go to sleep. There were chapters that were exciting and mysterious, or typical, and then there were the murder chapters. I could feel chills whenever one of them came up. And that house! Boy o' boy is that one sinister sounding house. So if you're going to read this (which you should) be prepared to not be able to sleep after certain chapters.
The setting of this book was fabulous. I have a very special place in my heart for the 1920s, so I knew this book would be up my alley. I just didn't know I'd want to go home with it. The 20s are just an exciting time filled with a inovation. I especially loved that it took place somewhere exciting like New York. If the whole book took place in Ohio, it probably wouldn't have been nearly half as exciting. New York and all it's bustling really helped set the tone for the novel.
Libba Bray tidied this book up nicely. There's a major story arc that will span the next books, but this book is done and I felt satisfied with the way everything ended. I am eagerly (read: desperately) waiting for the next installment, but this novel will stay with me for some time on its own. So make sure you pre-order this book or line up outside your local bookstore on the 18th, just make sure you get your hands on this AMAZING book! It's the bee's knees!
"In the town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan's Upper East Side, every lamp blazes."
"That night, she head strange sounds coming from inside the house, the most terrible bestial noises and whispers."